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Social Media
Looking for Reach and/or Clicks on Facebook? Strange Data from a Simple Tweak.

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For SlopeFillers, Facebook isn’t about engagement and community. Instead, it’s about getting people to the website. The fan page doesn’t provide the value, the site does. So my goal each morning is to simply get the word out about the day’s post and get people from there to here.

When I’m out of the office, I’ll schedule these posts so they go out at a decent hour. Scheduling them, however, means I don’t get my classic preview image to show up in the link preview below the post. Like so:


The two posts on the top are when I was traveling. The bottom two were normal days in the office.

But look closer and you’ll see a weird trend: the two without previews both saw their reach eclipse 700. Yet, neither of the posts with previews reached 500. Like Buddy on Dinosaur Train, I had a hypothesis: that something in Facebook’s algo favored posts without previews.

The Results
So, I had 8 posts that were scheduled in the two weeks prior to this post that did not have previews. Here are the stats from that group:

  • Average Reach: 687
  • Max Reach: 819
  • Min Reach: 585
  • Average Clicks: 39

To compare, I took the 8 posts I had published normally that did have previews leading up to the start of those scheduled posts. The stats:

  • Average Reach: 341
  • Max Reach: 493
  • Min Reach: 215
  • Average Clicks: 35

I usually don’t care too much about the max and min, but it was fascinating to me that the min from the top group was still about 15% higher than the max from the bottom group.

Remember, my goal isn’t engagement, it’s clicks. So even though the click through rate dropped because previews meant less eye-grabbing color to get your attention, overall, the total clicks were up because the average reach was twice that of the posts that included the preview.

I’m sure there’s a post about this somewhere, but proving it out with my own numbers is always my preferred way to go. Have you seen anything similar?

UPDATE: Just in case the spike was related to the time of year these went out, I published another without a preview sandwiched between posts with previews and saw the exact same results.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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